Reports surfaced Wednesday that New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez could face a possible suspension for his involvement in illegal underground poker games. According to RadarOnline.com, Rodriguez participated in two of the underground games that featured big Hollywood names, such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon, in which cocaine was widely available.
Though Rodriguez denied involvement, other people involved in the games contradict his story. MLB will be investigating Rodriguez, who had been warned by MLB and Yankees brass about his illegal gambling involvement. With these allegations, Rodriguez has now been tied to two of the biggest scandals in baseball: gambling and steroids.
Are these allegations enough to keep him out of Cooperstown, though?
There is no doubt that Rodriguez is one of the greatest talents to ever play the game. Rodriguez could still easily break one of the most hallowed records in all of sports, the career home run record, but that alone might not get him into the Hall of Fame.
Barry Bonds, though one of the best talents, will likely not make the Hall of Fame for quite some time, despite being the all-time home run king both for a career and in a single season. Bonds' constant denial of steroid and HGH use will always overshadow a stellar career.
Mark McGwire was much more liked in his time in the league than Bonds, but his tie to steroids will probably never allow him to be enshrined.
Rodriguez followed Bonds' and McGwire's lead, famously denying the steroid allegations on "60 Minutes" before coming clean after a positive test. While Rodriguez is not as hated as Bonds, he is definitely not as likable as McGwire.
And with these new allegations of gambling, Rodriguez just needs to cork his bat to complete the trifecta of taboo baseball activities. Pete Rose, of course, was banned from baseball when it was found out that Rose bet on baseball games. Due to the ban, baseball's all-time hits leader is still not in the Hall of Fame.
While Rodriguez's resume should make him a unanimous first-ballot guy, his scandals could keep him out of baseball glory like it did for Rose and likely will do for Bonds.
Imagine a Hall of Fame without the all-time hits leader and all-time home run leader. It's a very real possibility.